Anxiety is the body’s way of responding to danger and in fact is quite normal. It is an automatic alarm that goes off when you feel threatened, afraid or under stress. When an individual has an anxiety disorder it means that the anxiety doesn’t turn off. You are always on edge. Always ready to deal with a perceived threat. Always feeling stressed.
There are different kinds of anxiety disorder. They are those who are born with their anxiety out of wack and will live with it all of their lives. There are those who will develop an anxiety disorder following a traumatic event. There are those who will develop an anxiety disorder as a symptom or side effect of another illness. This is my situation. I have Graves Disease and it has attacked my thyroid which in turn created anxiety and depression issues. I am currently being treated for it, but there is no quick fix.
When I met the love of my life, I didn’t have an anxiety disorder and depression or at least, it wasn’t obviously apparent yet. It developed slowly until I was crying every day and it became obvious that it wasn’t temporary and I needed help.
I am very much aware that it’s not easy for my fiancé to see me struggle with anxiety. Unfortunately, he’s my safe place, which means he’s the only one whose seen me at my worst and the only one who truly knows the depth of my emotions.
A small example of how anxiety affects the relationship. My fiancé texted me one morning that his left arm was hurting. I immediately wrote back asking if he had made it work and knew who was the first aid person int he office. My heart stopped thinking he was having a heart attack that he wouldn’t get the help he needs. He then texted back to explain that he had slipped on the ice and fallen. His arm only hurt when he moved, but he wanted to keep moving so that the muscle loosen up. Texts like these have to be precise or the mind of someone suffering anxiety will jump to the worst possible scenario.
We were driving in a snow squall and at one point we couldn’t see the road or anything outside the windows. It’s a situation that would make anyone anxious and scared. My anxiety reached extremely high levels. Things calmed down quickly and visibility got better, but by the time we reached our destination 10 minutes later, my muscles had locked, I was in tears and couldn’t move as the pain was too great.
For me, knowing that I have someone in my life that’s not running the other way, that is being supportive and providing a support system after an episode and constantly being available when mental illness overtakes me is more than I could ever ask. I won’t ever be able to find good enough words to tell you how much I love you and how much I appreciate all you do for me.